Gritting – Cornwall Council
Our Winter Service Plan states that we will salt (commonly known as “grit”)
- All A and B roads
- Some other well used roads
- Access to sites of strategic importance, including but not limited to
- hospital minor injury units
- health centres
- major transport interchanges and
- most fire stations
- Access to some secondary schools
Precautionary Salting Network
We call the network of roads we salt the Precautionary Salting Network. The network is over 1,400km (900miles) of road.
In normal circumstances we would aim to complete the 25 routes within three hours.
You can view a map of our precautionary salting network using the online mapping system.
You can view the areas that will be salted over the next 24 hours by following @CornwallCouncil.
Why we use salt
Salt (commonly known as “grit” when spread on the road) is used to lower the freezing point of water in frosty conditions. This stops ice forming and reduces the possibility of skidding, or more serious road accidents.
Stored in salt barns around Cornwall, it can be used quickly by Cormac when weather forecasts indicate a freeze ahead.
Salting is usually done before freezing occurs. Weather forecasts often predict near freezing temperatures with rain, hail or sleet showers.
These showers can wash the salt from treated roads and leave them prone to freezing. This makes forecasting and planning salting difficult.
We take every reasonable step to prevent freezing roads.
Cormac’s staff monitor the weather conditions throughout the day and night. They liaise closely with forecasters specifically employed for this task.
There are also 11 roadside sensors that measure road temperature and other important information. This information is automatically sent back to the forecasters and Cormac staff.
What are we unable to do
- We will not routinely treat footways. When there is a significant risk of icy conditions for long periods through the day we may salt busy footways in main towns. We can only do this if it does not affect the treatment of the precautionary network.
- Salting or other work on the trunk roads, as these are the responsibility of the Highways England.
- Salt all roads and footways. This would be an enormous and costly task. We can salt the Precautionary Network only.
- Always keep roads free of ice and snow.
- We do not salt on request. We will only consider salting and clearance of routes off the main gritting routes once the precautionary network is clear.
We do not provide salt bins. Please see the guidance on salt bins.
To report urgent emergencies of ice and snow on the road, where it is resulting in hazardous conditions, telephone 0300 1234 222 (24 hour service). Please include location details. We will assess the situation and send resources to the places in most need. This will be when the precautionary network is clear and where resources permit.
For more information please see our winter service procedures.
Most issues can be resolved online, it’s the quickest and most convenient way to get help.
- Roads, transport and parking
- 0300 1234 222